Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Screen Actor Guild Nominees 2013

"The Actor" statuette, holding a mask of comedy in one hand and tragedy in the other, is the award given by the SAG. While other groups boast about their historical accuracy in choosing the Oscar winner, SAG has made its own carefully branded achievement status separate of Oscar. Because it is a political union, like all unions, an actor or entertainer gets in with the "in-crowd" winning one of these babies, which really doesn't happen with any of the non-Oscar awards ceremonies this time of year (and, all the stars turn out for the televised event). If you are wondering, it's said the statue weighs 12 lbs, and is about 16 inches tall.
This is actually important.
The Screen Actors Guild, founded in the 1930s as a union for actors and entertainers, is its own kind of "Oscar," is carries its own prestige and boosts an actor's persona with its own measure of publicity. With a membership numbering around 120,000, each year, 4, 200 randomly selected members from music, television and the screen, get to chose the nominees which the rest of the due-paying members can vote on for the winner (which is then televised). Here's the catch: a film has to be a union production in order to be eligible to compete (which is why Beasts Of the Southern Wild isn't nominated, it wasn't Union).
Detail of The Actor award.
Because the SAG has taken such a careful approach to cultivating its image and the status of its award, the SAG has a way of propelling Oscar noms (and it knows it, not to mention that Union members want to be in good with other Union members and they help each other out, which is part of the advertised benefit of being Union) and, likewise, keeping an actor out of the Oscar noms, such as Matthew McConnaughey for his numerous roles the past year; which brings up this singular nomination for Nicole Kidman for Paperboy (it's been so ripped apart that no one even gave it a decent review, but she's nominated for it? On the other hand, Javier Bardem has scored a nomination for Skyfall. So, here are the important nominations:

Best Ensemble (equivalent of Best Picture)
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Les Miserables
Silver Linings Playbook

What?!?! Where is Zero Dark Thirty? Moonrise Kingdom? Django Unchained? The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel for your highest award? Well, as I told you, the SAG is its own awards.

Best Actor:
Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook
Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
John Hawkes, The Sessions
Hugh Jackman, Les Miserables
Denzel Washington, Flight

Even though Denzel Washington hasn't momentum like Bradley Cooper at this point, (and the role the Union plays within Flight might have something to do with it) his nom here suggests a greater likelihood for a nom by the Academy. Many are surprised the Joaquin Phoenix's performance in The Master didn't land him a nom (especially in the SAGs because they are more drawn to a film such as The Master) but it's rumored that Phoenix spouted off in anger about the awards campaigning season and, in retaliation, hasn't been nominated for anything; it's also possible that--what I found in the film--was seen by others, namely, a self-awareness to get awards and no other purpose.

Best Actress:
Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty
Marion Cotillard, Rust and Bone
Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
Helen Mirren, Hitchcock
Naomi Watts, The Impossible

While this looks like a good list, when it comes Oscar time (because, after all, the Academy's Award i still the greatest award in the world for an actor), these same actors will probably all make the Oscar short list, (the list from which the final nominees are chosen), but I think the final nominees will look different. It's difficult, after all, not having seen Ms. Cotillard's performance in Rust and Bone.

Best Supporting Actor
Alan Arkin, Argo
Javier Bardem, Skyfall
Robert De Niro, Silver Linings Playbook
Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Master
Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln
Javier Bardem as Silva in Skyfall. James Bond films can't be completely ignored by the Academy because they just bank so big! With a stunning cast, and Oscar winning director, it's possible that either or both Bardem and Judi Dench (M) might get Oscar nods, but because of the phenomenal quality of films the past year, Daniel Craig probably isn't even being considered for an Oscar since he hasn't surfaced by now.
Best Supporting Actress:
Sally Field, Lincoln
Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables
Helen Hunt, The Sessions
Nicole Kidman, The Paperboy
Maggie Smith, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

The Golden Globe nominees are announced tomorrow and, like the SAG noms and as we have discussed previously, they will likely have a greater sway over nominations for the Oscar Short List than in previous years because of the shortened voting period for Academy voters to view as many films before voting; what's the likelihood that they will now take the time to watch Kidman in Paperboy because of this nom, and maybe skip watching Beasts Of the Southern Wind? What's the likelihood they will watch The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and skip watching Compliance or The Middle Of Nowhere.
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner